James Bond and Terry O’Neill fit together like a Walther PPK nestled in a shoulder holster underneath a tailored tuxedo. The legendary photographer, who died in November, had a decades-old relationship with 007 that started when he was invited to shoot Sean Connery on the 1964 movie Goldfinger. Numerous set visits followed, during which the famously charming O’Neill built up a rapport with Connery, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig to gain remarkable access and capture the actors during relaxed moments.
In a new book containing more than 150 photographs, Bond: Photographed by Terry O’Neill, The Definitive Collection, film writer James Clarke documents O’Neill’s work with the Bond franchise and adds fresh input from Jane Seymour (Solitaire in Live and Let Die), George Lazenby (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service), Robert Wade and Neal Purvis (writers of seven Bond films including Skyfall, Spectre and No Time To Die) and notes from O’Neill himself.
Clarke spoke to EDGAR about the enduring appeal of cinema’s most famous spy and why O’Neill’s work is so special.